New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 261–275 | Cite as

A Posthumanist Perspective on Caring in Early Childhood Teaching

  • Alison WarrenEmail author


Caring occupies a contested space in early childhood teaching. Caring is valued as crucial to children’s physical and emotional wellbeing but, at the same time, it is undervalued as separate from education and more difficult to measure. This article argues for reconceptualising care as complex, dynamic, problematic, political, and assembled in affective flows among human and other-than-human components. Concepts from writing of Deleuze, and Deleuze and Guattari are used in a concept-as-method approach using a vignette from a research study of emotions in early childhood teaching. Rhizoanalysis involves mapping affective flows at the same time as tracing constraints within assemblages as means to critique and innovate from within entanglements of an early childhood setting. A cartographic approach using Deleuzian concepts of sense, paradox, and nonsense is used to explore how language expresses sense of caring beyond what can be denoted, manifested, or signified in statements by an early childhood teacher.


Caring Sense Assemblage Rhizoanalysis Cartography 



I acknowledge the guidance of my doctoral supervisors Professor Peter Roberts and Associate Professor Kathleen Quinlivan, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, who provided feedback on this article.


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Copyright information

© New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New ZealandNelsonNew Zealand

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